The capital city of Hanoi has been named one of the 13 best cities for shopping in Asia by Smart Travel Asia, the online travel magazine for Asia.

Up from the eighth place last year, Hanoi ranked the sixth place among the list of 10 in 2009, the magazine said.

According to Smart Travel Asia, Hanoi is a beautiful city which sells a variety of silk products. Hang Gai Street known for its silk products has gained the nick-name "silk street". This street also sold many traditional products, it said.

"When visiting Hang Gai Street, foreign tourists can find Vietnamese silk products. This is an ideal place to find the best silk gifts for themselves or friends and family," Truong Hong Khoa, owners of the Silk Viet Shop on Hang Gai Street.

The streets around the Hoan Kiem Lake are good shopping addresses for tourists, with many places selling souvenirs, decorative products and silverware. The streets are also home to a variety of exhibitions and galleries.

"When shopping in other Asian countries, you can buy everything under one roof. However, in Hanoi, each street sells specific goods. If you want to buy a variety of gifts, you have to visit different streets. That's one of Hanoi's most distinctive features," Khoa said.

Khoa added that he was delighted to hear of the poll, as it would increase foreign awareness of the capital's unique character. "It will make things easier for tourists to find what they're looking for when shopping in Hanoi," he added.

This year, the 10 positions were shared by 13 cities, four of which are Chinese. The number one in the best city for shopping in Asia category was a fight between Hong Kong and Singapore. In the end, Hong Kong pulled away to rank the first place with a convincing 28% of the vote, closely followed by Singapore with 26%.

Bangkok dropped one position following the ructions in Thailand to rank the third place this year. Kuala Lumpur ranked fourth place, with Dubai at fifth place. Bali (Indonesia) and Shanghai (China) polled joint the seventh place. Manila was the eighth place and Tokyo and Beijing in ninth place. The tenth place was shared by Seoul and Shenzhen (China).

The vote, organized online from May to July 2009, listened to readers' ideas in fields of destinations, aviation services, hotels and resorts.
Two other Vietnamese cities, Hoi An City and HCMC, were chosen among the most favorite destinations for tourists.

Hoi An City shared the 5th place with Bangkok among the 10 best travel destinations and HCMC polled in at the 10th place together with Seoul and Taipei among the 10 best cities for business.

(Source: VNA)